Estrella Damm opens its first British brewery in Bedford

The family-owned Estrella Damm, which is a leading producer of Spanish lager in Britain, has invested €60 million in the construction of a modern brewery in Bedford.

Estrella is being produced outside of the Iberian Peninsula for the first time in its 150 year history. The firm chose the UK to compete with rival locations on the Continent.

The Damm Brewery in Barcelona dates back to 1876 when August Kuentzmann Damm moved from his native Alsace with his cousin Joseph Damm and began brewing Strasburger beer.

The majority of popular Spanish lagers that are sold in the UK have been brewed in the UK and not shipped over. Carlsberg is responsible for the production of Cruzcampo in Manchester, while Carlsberg produces San Miguel in Northampton. Madri was created by Carling owner Molson Coors specifically for UK and Irish consumers. The beer is brewed in Yorkshire. Madri has been so successful in Britain, that it is now being exported to Spain.

Damm also produces coffee and cold drinks. It sells 1.8 billion drinks a year. Every minute, the equivalent of 150 pints (or litres) of Estrella damm, its most famous lager, are sold in the UK. Demetrio Arce Carceller, a billionaire and former owner of the brewery, is in charge.

Bedford is the third high-profile investment to have been made in the area recently.

Universal Studios, owned and operated by Comcast, quietly purchased a 476-acre site near Bedford in order to develop Europe’s largest theme parks.

Lucy Frazer, Culture Secretary has granted a special development to Universal Destinations & Experiences if they go ahead. This is a mechanism that’s better known to fast-track planning permission for commandeering military bases to house asylum seekers.

Estrella Damm in Barcelona, where it all started nearly 150 years ago

Winklevoss Capital is an investment company owned by cryptocurrency investors Cameron Winklevoss and Tyler Winklevoss. They have invested in Real Bedford FC, a non-league team, to help them become a Premier League club. The twins were best known for coming up with what became Facebook during their time at Harvard University.

A spokesperson for Damm stated: “The UK market is the biggest outside of its own country.” This investment, which will see us produce some formats in Bedford, is a reflection of our commitment to the UK and to the country over a long period.

The location of Bedford is strategic. We are attracted to the location because of its proximity to London.